REVIEW: Aerial Destruction

Mankind is at war with mysterious mutants. Start your helicopter and do your part in saving the human race, private!

Steam: Released
Type: Single-player
Genre: Action
Developer: Devdan games
Publisher: Devdan Games
Release date: 18 May, 2017

The great war

Great helicopter shooters can offer players blissful satisfaction when flying towards enemy troops for the sole purpose of  spamming missiles and bullets towards them.  Aerial Destruction, however, suffers from producing a huge number of FPS issues during those times. The lowest I personally experienced was 7 FPS! It seems I missed all the action but at least the enemies died. The graphics are decent and controls respond tightly, so controlling the helicopter is enjoyable and fun.  The levels are large and open, but hindered by invisible combat zone borders that will end your mission if you venture too far, limiting the ability to explore.

Developer’s response: “…an update should come in the future, which along some other fixes will improve the optimisation of the game and fix the issue with the FPS lags.”

Gameplay Video

Learning to fly

With small hills, forests, water and a few enemy bases on some maps, the landscape is varied. I would have liked some canyons to fly around in just because controlling the helicopter is great. I enjoyed my time flying around with it, it’s easy and clearly simplified for a more enjoyable gaming session. Missions consist of eliminating enemy troops and to my surprise, they varied quite well mission to mission. On one map I was looking for missiles at enemy outposts, on another, I was supporting the front line in taking out the enemy bases. At the core, it’s just killing enemy troops, but different levels and objectives made it feel like there was ample variation as I moved up the levels. It was a positive surprise and compensated the FPS problems a bit, keeping the game interesting to a degree. Unfortunately, the game is really short. All of the achievements unlocked in just ONE hour while playing on hard, and there really is no replay value.

Levels offer variety in their appearance.

While not realistic as a flying simulator at all, the controls felt like any other shooter and I’m certain it is much better than attempting to make it more realistic. Combat is short but fun when not plagued by FPS-problems.  The levels themselves are extremely short and I noticed a survival mode. I instantly got my hopes up for some proper carnage, but I decided to complete the levels first to gain some upgrade points. After I upgraded my heavy cannons, missiles and their explosive radius, I felt ready. In my excitement, I totally forgot about the FPS problems. However, the survival map soon turned into a lag-fest. The steam page only lists the minimum requirements, I’m way beyond those and the game still suffers from FPS drops even if there aren’t that many enemies on the screen. When there are, the drops are really severe. I don’t see any reason they should be. It does not seem like the graphics are that demanding and there are not that many enemies on the screen or any complex explosion animations. For reference, Just Cause 3 features massive explosions and I didn’t suffer from FPS drops when I played.

I pity the fools!

Art of war

Problems aside, the weapons themselves feel powerful, but would benefit from a little more low end to the sound. The chopper propellers sound just right, but the weapons sound more like a pellet gun than actual heavy weaponry. They would benefit greatly from adding a little bass to give that thundering effect.
Enemy forces consist mainly of infantry with occasional tanks thrown into the mix. As satisfying it was to see the infantry disappearing while feeding them to my turrets, it eventually felt too easy. I played on hard, and after gaining access to the heavier assault helicopters, nothing could stop me anymore. I flew, killed, flew to another place and killed again. More tanks and tougher enemies would have been a nice addition. The Infantry’s weapons were also powerless against me, I didn’t upgrade my armor a single time and it still took quite a long time to shoot my helicopter down. With great controls like this game has, I can only imagine how fun it would have been to dodge some S.A.M missiles while trying to destroy the base defenses.  But, nothing of sort exists in this game.

The ammo capacity of weapons and the explosion radius of the missiles are upgradeable, along with some maximum armor. Completing a level gives a player a few points to use how they wish. Each level features a resupply station that automatically fills up the ammo and missiles, so players can freely blast away how they want. One achievement requires 2,000 fired missiles, so there is some blasting to do!

Some trivia for those who are interested.

Should you buy it?

No. The game has potential. It’s nice to look at, the weapons feel powerful, the levels are large but they could (and should) offer so much more content. I hope to see a sequel someday since the basics are in order, the controls are tight but the main point, the action, fails because of the FPS problems and lack of different enemy types.

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September 2017

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